President Biden rescinded an order from former President Donald Trump Friday to build a “National Garden of American Heroes” to memorialize hundreds of influential Americans.
“Biden just officially revoked the executive order for the ‘National Garden of American Heroes’ that Trump signed last year,” CNN’s Kevin Liptak tweeted.
Biden just officially revoked the executive order for the "National Garden of American Heroes" that Trump signed last year
— Kevin Liptak (@Kevinliptakcnn) May 14, 2021
Trump announced plans to build the garden last year and rolled out over 200 names of famous Americans whose statues would fill the monument in January. The statue garden was one of Trump’s final initiatives before exiting the White House.
The garden was to include Americans from every era of U.S. history from founding father Benjamin Franklin to longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek.
“Across this Nation, belief in the greatness and goodness of America has come under attack in recent months and years by a dangerous anti-American extremism that seeks to dismantle our country’s history, institutions, and very identity. The heroes of 1776 have been desecrated, with statues of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin vandalized and toppled,” Trump said in his order. “The dead who gave their lives to end slavery and save the Union during the Civil War have been dishonored, with monuments to Abraham Lincoln, Hans Christian Heg, and the courageous 54th Regiment left damaged and disfigured. The brave warriors who saved freedom from Nazi fascism have been disgraced with a memorial to World War II veterans defaced with the hammer and sickle of Soviet communism.”
“The National Garden is America’s answer to this reckless attempt to erase our heroes, values, and entire way of life. On its grounds, the devastation and discord of the moment will be overcome with abiding love of country and lasting patriotism. This is the American way,” it continued. “When the forces of anti-Americanism have sought to burn, tear down, and destroy, patriots have built, rebuilt, and lifted up. That is our history. America responded to the razing of the White House by building it back in the same place with unbroken resolve, to the murders of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr., with a national temple and the Stone of Hope, and to the terrorism of 9/11 with a new Freedom Tower. In keeping with this tradition, America is responding to the tragic toppling of monuments to our founding generation and the giants of our past by commencing a new national project for their restoration, veneration, and celebration.”
Trump signed the order in part to counter activists and rioters who had attacked in recent months statues honoring past Americans such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson because they had owned slaves. He also signed the order to counter narratives about American history such as those pushed by The New York Times’ “1619 Project” claiming that the U.S. owes all progress to slavery, rather than its ideas of freedom and self-government.
Related: Historians Shred NYT ‘1619 Project’ That Claims Slavery Defines America